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A train ride into Rajasthan and the eye of a camel

From Amritsar, I took my first Indian train ride to the city of Jodhpur and the Indian state of Rajasthan. Two trains and 20 plus hours later, my friend and I arrived in Jodhpur or the Blue city. We rode in sleeper class on the train and we were the only foreignors in our car but it was a great time. After pushing our way to our seats/beds, we were surrounded by Indians who looked at us with inquisitive eyes. But after a couple hours of exchanging smiles and chatting in broken english we were buying each other milk tea or chai and sharing our food. We seemed to be the main attraction of every Indian who walked by. We even got them to play the game of "I spy" with us. At every stop, entreprepneurs would board the train and sell socks, snacks and of course, chai. They would walk by yelling, "Chai, Chai, Chai, Chai, Chaiiiiiiiiii." It was a fun train ride.

While we were in Jodhpur, my friend and I stayed in a cozy guesthouse aptly named Cosy Guesthouse. From the roof of our guesthouse, we got a beautiful view of the blue buildings of Jodhpur and the Jodhpur fort which is situated on a hill in the middle of the city. Our stay in Jodhpur was only two days but while we were there we visited the Jodhpur fort. Built on a hill overlooking the city, the fort offered a great defense against attacks in the old days and a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. While exploring the fort, my friend and I caught a couple of guards throwing paper airplanes off the side of the fort. Their planes floated leisurely in the desert wind. (I tried my own paper airplane but it just took a nose dive straight down) We also visited a 600 year old Hindu temple located in the fort. Also, we bumped into some friends that we knew from Dharmasala. India is a large country but it is certainly a small world.

From Jodhpur, we met up with another friend on the train and four hours later we arrived in the dusty city of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is known as the Golden city and it too has a fort. Unlike Jodhpur, Jaisalmer's fort is really dilapidated because it is filled to the brim with guesthouses, restaurants, temples and shops. The main reason we went to Jaisalmer was to go on a camel trek into the Rajasthan desert. My friends and I booked a two-day trek because we were pre-warned about the uncomfortability of riding a camel (Two days later I had a pretty sore bum, buttock, etc, etc) Our group totaled six travellers (my two friends, myself, an another american, a french and an australian), a handful of guides/cooks and of course our transportation, a motley group of camels. My camel's name was Papu and he always seemed to be taking it easy and would occasionally trot to catch the rest of the group. I had many long talks with Papu about trying to keep up with the pack, although he was a good listener, he never seemed to follow my advice, oh well. The highlight of the trek was sleeping under the stars. It was a "starry" night and we saw nearly a dozen shooting star. It was a pretty cool experience.

Posted by ejgalang 07:02 Archived in India

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